While using DT today I had an idea that I think would help with the forthcoming automatic wiki-linking feature, yet preserve some of the awesomeness of DEVONthink. I for one am incredibly excited about automatic wiki-linking – I wonder what you guys at Devon would think of adding an alias, or wiki ID, field to the metadata in DT?
I’ll give you an example: right now, I’m working on notes for an article by an author named Mary Poovey, called “David Copperfield and the Professional Writer.” The name of the RTF file in which I’m taking notes is “Mary Poovey, David Copperfield and the Professional Writer.”
Obviously it is highly unlikely that, while writing in DT, I will type exactly that title into the document, so that it can be highlighted. What’s much more likely is that I’ll write a sentence like: “Please refer to Poovey for a deeper discussion of professionalism in D.C.”
What would be great is if I could use the Info window on the my Poovey notes, and assign the document a “Wiki ID” or “alias” of “Poovey,” so that that word serves as a flag for link insertion. If I could do this with groups, too, that would be great; thus, my folder of notes on Poovey’s articles, “Articles by Mary Poovey,” could have an alias of “PooveyArticles.” This way I could refer to it inline, very quickly, while keeping a descriptive name in place for when I’m browsing the file system.
What do you guys think? VoodooPad has a similar ‘alias’ feature – but I think it would be even more poqwerful in DT, since DT is, well, more powerful.
That’s an interesting suggestion - we’ll consider this as the automatic linking has not yet been implemented.
However, you could of course use cross links too - just select a word or text and choose the desired destination in the contextual menu. And if there’s no selection (or only a white one), you could insert a link to “Mary Poovey, David Copperfield and the Professional Writer.” using the menu too.
That’s what I’m doing now – but of course it’s the automatic part that gives the wiki its value.
And actually, I have a better idea: how about you give users the option of designating a keyword of the document as an alias – or of selecting multiple keywords? That way the keyword and the wiki would be integrated. If a wiki link goes to multiple documents, then maybe a list of the documents could pop up. That would be intuitive, and even better than a wiki.
Another interesting suggestion Well, quite often it’s better not to add all features immediately but to wait for user feedback instead ;D
Sounds like this might somehow be integrated with “smart groups” but it’s still too early in the day to wrap my mind around it.
In general, I’ve wondered what sort of metadata capabilities might be added to DT that could be used to correlate different information. Comments are currently a way to add basic user-defined metadata functionality but that’s over generalized for certain content.
When automatic Wiki linking is implemented will there be a way to enable/disable it for different groups? Right now Wiki features aren’t useful for most of my content so displaying active links would be distracting… which leads to this suggestion:
Currently it’s hard or impossible to differentiate Wiki and URL links in Rich Text items since both display as underlined text. A Wiki link target could be displayed in the status bar or with hover text when it’s moused over, as you’ve already said will be implemented with URL links in a future release. Any time the Michael Jackson / Mickey Mouse glove appears when mousing over content there should also be some indication of what action clicking it will have. It’s hard not having that feedback in DT when you’re used to in web browsers.
I think it was already suggested, but will backwards navigation through Wiki links eventually be added?
What about opening a Wiki link in a new DT browser window? I’ve wanted to do that with URL links, too. Sort of a combination of Copy Link to Clipboard followed by Content->New->With Clipboard that creates a temporary item that’s deleted when the window’s closed.
Btw, do the “Context->New->* …” functions have “…” ellipses because the item name is immediately editable after they’re used?
The "Content > New" ellipses are there because the items are editable or open a new window (depending on your browser view).
Improved integration of Web links (inside rich texts) will come (e.g. opening them inside DT instead of launching your default browser on demand and displaying their target in the status bar) and Back/Forward functionality will be added to Wiki/Cross links too.
I can only agree with what have been said earlier: if there would be automatic linking (please make this a setting of each database … I’m thinking of the upcoming Pro version) and each page could have several keywords (or should they be called ‘link words’) DT would be really nice to write notes in. Add some way of exporting to HTML and it would be a really nice tool to make certain types of cross-referenced web sites in.
I’ve been using Voodoo Pad Lite to prototype a web site and the really fun thing is to write stuff and suddenly discover all kinds of connections.
Discovering unexpected connections is what’s especially great about working in a wiki – and is what doesn’t work when you have to manually link pages. And HTML export would be AWESOME!
Those things will definitely come but not concurrently of course (e.g. v1.8.2 will introduce automatic Wiki-linking, V2.0 will add export plugins, for example to create websites). One step after another - please be patient Just finished the DT Pro script suite and terminology and fixed the scripting bugs - the first completely scriptable DT Pro alpha version (including updated and new scripts) will come this week
Don’t worry, I’m taking it easy … and finding that I’m putting more and more stuff into DT ;)